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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Robert Kraft says Tom Brady wanted to leave, Patriots would have worked it out

Robert Kraft

Tom Brady announced on Tuesday that he will not return to the New England Patriots next season, and the team appears determined to make it known that the decision to part ways was Brady’s.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he met face to face with Brady on Monday night, at which point the six-time Super Bowl champion informed Kraft he will be signing with another team this offseason. Kraft told ESPN’s Mike Reiss that Brady has “earned that right” and that Kraft still loves him “like a son.” However, Kraft later told multiple reporters that the Patriots would have worked out a deal with Brady if the 42-year-old wanted to return.

Kraft and Bill Belichick both also released statements praising Brady.

We’ll probably never know what went on behind the scenes with Brady and the Patriots, but it was inevitable that Kraft would try to assure fans that the team did everything it could to keep the most important player in franchise history. There is almost certainly more to the story than that.

According to at least one report, the Patriots did not make a legitimate effort to keep Brady. All indications are that Belichick did not want to pay top starter money for a quarterback who will soon turn 43, and that is consistent with how the coach has operated throughout his entire tenure in New England.

Brady reportedly has some hefty offers from at least two teams. He had to have known the Patriots weren’t going to be the highest bidder, but it sounds like Belichick could have showed him more appreciation. We heard previously that Kraft had no intention of intervening in contract negotiations, so it’s hard to believe the Patriots did everything they could to re-sign Brady.

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